Help identifying the problem here! Only for Jehovah's Witnesses?
My wife and I have had a rough start in our marriage and we both made mistakes and didn't include God in our marriage like we should have and now she got close to single brother and disclosed her problems in our marriage and was counseled against that and that brother broke off contact with her, and that happened a year ago and now 3 months ago she left and separated from me when the elders told her there was no scriptural reason to do so and she has been planning it since January and I have changed and went to counseling for myself. I wasn't the best husband and didn't treat her with respect like I should have and learned from my past mistakes and the elders wrote to the society on our situation and the faithful slave said marriage is a covenant before God and she should stay and work it out and she didn't like hearing that and rejected that counsel and moved out shortly. Anyways, the elders can see how she rebelled and wants nothing to do with me and hates me and wants to be with a man just not me and is mad at God for the arrangement of Marriage, that she is stuck with me. They saw how she got emotionally attached to a single brother in our hall and now since she is by herself and doesn't want to be in paradise if that means she has to be my wife. She works now on 2nd shift at a restaurant and has disclosed her feelings and marital problems and how she views me with single worldly workmates. They can see she is vulnerable and they all know she views herself as a single person. But one person in particular has gotten close and she trusts him and tells him everything and loves working with him and this man lied to her saying he is divorced when he is not and tells her everything she wants to hear and said he would not have a fling with her like other guys but a relationship. I see all these problems escalating and pray everyday for her. But is there anything I can do????? Is this maybe post partum depression? We have 3 kids and she has turned into a completely different person and our youngest is 2 years old. She doesn't want anyone to tell her what to do and how to live her life. She is in pain and hurting inside and I understand her feelings and want to help but I can't do anything. I thought maybe she has become hard-hearted and this a dangerous spiritual condition. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!
I think that fourth to last sentence speaks volumes for your character:
"She is in pain and hurting inside and I understand her feelings"
It takes a lot to transcend feelings of bitterness and resentment, and to try to see the reasons behind outward actions.
Keep up that attitude and perspective, and keep showing love towards her (she is still your wife). If you don't think that you did all that you should have done before, try your best now to address the issues that YOU think bothered HER the most and try to show her that you've changed or that the situation has changed. And of course, keep on praying, and keep on seeking help when you need it from the elders and the congregation. I'll pray for you on this one too I think.
You absolutely have to start being a spiritual head of the house. Stop worrying about what she is or isn't going to do. You have to do what you should have done from the start. Continue to support your family materially, but most important is to study with those children and show them love and start teaching them how to really pore their heart out to Jehovah. That will be what gets you through this emotional time, reliance on Jehovah. Do everything you can to make your home like a peaceful Bethel home. Read the text every day. Always keep your family study night and pray with them to have peace. Try to always get to the meetings. Your relationship looks like it is only with Jehovah and the children now and He will help you through this. He has helped me through more than I can say right now. He is always there like a father who wants to show love and comfort to His worshipers. Your wife might not appreciate it if you start to do these things but God will see it and bless you.
In this old system we have to deal with the hand we have dealt. You made mistakes so has your wife.
You only have one recourse, turn to Jehovah, the hearer of prayer, he will guide you if you let him, right now you have to be concerned for your children. Set the proper example, we are told to seek the kingdom first, by doing this you will be in a better place if your wife does at some future time see that your life is good & your happy, her life will not be good & she will not be happy.
There's no magic pill, make sure that you do what is right, follow the elders council, draw close to Jehovah & Jehovah will draw close to you( (James 4:8) Draw close to God, and he will draw close to YOU. Cleanse YOUR hands, YOU sinners, and purify YOUR hearts, YOU indecisive ones.
Your wife will have to deal with her choices, when she comes to her senses & you still want her back you will be in a place to help. Running after her now will just make the matters worse & drive her further away. Satan's world is not a easy place for anyone that knows Jehovah.
The world has a saying, if you love someone let them go, if they love you they will come back. This is where your at.
We have a righteous judge, one that will handle all thing perfectly, you just have to put it in Jehovah's hands, all your friends will have you in their prayers as we all long for the time when Satan & his wicked world will be no more, until that day we must keep our eye on the prize.
Oh friend , I do not know how to advise you , I am only studying .
All I can say is I hope & pray you can save your marriage.
I am in the same boat as....
your wife in a couple of respects not all of them.
I understand to a point how she feels.
"mad at God for the arrangement of Marriage, that she is stuck with me. "
I told this to the brothers, in these words... " what was Jehovah thinking to chain me to my abuser this way?"
and this... I said this...
"and now since she is by herself and doesn't want to be in paradise if that means she has to be my wife"
only add "I don't want to live in the paradise Jehovah promises if that means I have to be married to him, it is a sentence not a reward"
If Jehovah is doing for her, what he did for me in the last 3 years since I DIVORCED my ex. He is working on her heart. And he is love and wisdom. If he is doing for her what he did for me, he is trying the best he can to protect her heart and the consequences of her actions SHE feels you and Jehovah drove her to...
I'll pray for your situation, and that Jehovah truly reaches through the hurt to her heart to stop the downward spiral.
I hate to be the one painting kettles black.
But there is not anything you can do.
Until this runs it's course she's doing what she wants to.
She has left the truth.
She has left you.
But how she lost value as a woman is she left her children.
She did it to run around.
To make beaus 'to confide in'.
To have relationships with worldly men or to try to draw out young naive brothers.
You love her.
This will hurt you a long time.
If you're like me I never really got over it when a similar situation happened to me.
But what helped me, was to finally realize what kind of woman mine is.
And I really feel when you figure out what kind of woman yours is, you'll start to get over this quicker.
I'm sorry if I offend you brother, but I really feel what I'm writing to you is right.
I am SO sorry my brother =(
I really have no advice other than stay as busy as you can in theocratic activities, that will distract you a bit, and draw you even closer to Jehovah.
My heart goes out to you
Well, I'm an Inactive Witness, but I hope that still counts, because I went through my own difficult marriage situation (unfortunately one that couldn't be resolved, but hopefully yours still has a chance!), so maybe I can give you some insight while keeping with the JW viewpoint as opposed to a worldly one.
You say you need help in identifying the problem, but in reality, you already know the problem. Let me quote it to you here:
"I wasn't the best husband and didn't treat her with respect like I should have and learned from my past mistakes and the elders wrote to the society on our situation and the faithful slave said marriage is a covenant before God and she should stay and work it out and she didn't like hearing that and rejected that counsel and moved out shortly."
"now since she is by herself and doesn't want to be in paradise if that means she has to be my wife."
"She is in pain and hurting inside and I understand her feelings and want to help but I can't do anything."
Well, I don't know what you did specifically when you "didn't show her the respect you should have", but essentially it boils down to this:
There are things every wife needs from her husband. She needed those things from you. When you misguidedly didn't give her those things, she tried to find them from someone else: first another brother, and now, apparently, a worldly man.
Being told she doesn't have scriptural reasons for leaving you have made her feel trapped: either be alone or leave Jehovah.
Please understand that for many women, that NEED for companionship is so strong, it can affect even their love of Jehovah. She believes she can't get that companionship from you. She's told that to stay with Jehovah, she can't be with anyone else. Right now, she feels leaving Jehovah is her only option.
Like you said, she's hurting.
"But is there anything I can do?????"
Well, there's the obvious two:
PRAY. NOTHING is stronger than that. Pray for guidance. Both for you and for her. There's a good chance she's stopped praying herself, so please pray on her behalf.
Continue to follow the advice of your Elders. They are there to help you through this.
And here's my own suggestion (and by all means, run this by your Elders beforehand):
Are you in contact with her AT ALL?
If not, try to open the lines of communication between you. DO NOT be pushy about it. She'll take that as an attack. Remember the Fruitage of the Spirit. Read Gal. 5:22, 23. Compare the NWT version to some others to get a better meaning of JUST what those qualities really are. (The New Jerusalem Bible is one of my personal favorites and you can read it online. Just google it if you don't have a copy yourself. Biblegateway.com is a website that has other translations as well.) Do the same with 1 Cor. 13:4-7 and the first part of verse 8. Use what you read there as guidance in both reopening the lines of communication and in doing the following:
What you really need to realize is that she feels she is single again. Don't argue that. Treat her as though she IS single--a single sister you are in love with and want to court and marry. Yeah, I know, kind of outside the box, but if you're EVER going to make any headway in her current mindset, you're going to have to approach her on her level and not try to force her to be on yours. You are going to have to win her over all over again, just like you did before when you both really were single. "Court" her. SHOW her you've changed. SHOW her you understand what you did wrong to drive her away. SHOW her you love her, and understand her feelings. And, most importantly, DON'T RUSH HER. Give her time to heal from the past hurts. If you REALLY MEAN IT, you should be able to win her over just like you did when you really were single and courting her.
If you need details from the female perspective about specifics you can do to show her these things, by all means email me. If you are wary about trusting me, then ask your Elders if they can suggest a mature sister in the congregation that can help you in this matter. (I know they used to do that sort of thing in the past, so hopefully they still do.)
I hope this helps. You and your wife (and especially your children) are in my prayers. 🙂
No offence meant to Rangedog, because I don't know the details of his personal situation (or the specific details of Iceman's either), but that is SUCH a common male MISconception, I really feel the need to comment:
Quote from Rangedog:
"She did it to run around.
To make beaus 'to confide in'.
To have relationships with worldly men or to try to draw out young naive brothers."
VERY RARELY does a JW sister leave her husband because she simply wants to "run around" (although, yes, it does happen). Usually she "runs around" AFTER she feels she's not getting what she needs from her husband FIRST.
Iceman admits that he "didn't show her the respect she deserves". He's admitting that even though what she is currently doing is wrong, he realizes that he has made his own mistakes. This is an EXCELLENT attitude towards reconciliation in a marriage. (SO MANY don't do this, and it's exactly why I believe there's still hope for him, his wife, and his children.) He should at least TRY to make ammends before "getting over it and moving on".
Please, Iceman, go over my advice with your Elders, and TRY to save your marriage. If for nothing else, for the sake of your children. Just my $.02
To "TOOPOO": EXACTLY my point! If I was Level 2, I'd give you a Thumbs Up. 🙂
Dear Brother-She is beyond your help. She doesn't want your help. IF she is to turn herself around, and realize her responsibility, Jehovah will have to touch her heart. If the elders can't make her return to the marriage, and Jehovah can't, then what can you do? You can pray for the peace to return to your family, and if the way that happens is if she leaves, then so be it. You have done what you can, but you cannot force someone to love you. She has already shown that her affection is up for grabs, and if she has not already done so, she will likely give you scriptural grounds before long, and you can re-build your life with a sister who has the same goals in life as you do.
Unless Jehovah draws a person's heart, it's no good trying to fake it. He sees the heart condition, and if she has some problem that you can't see, He is loving and will take that situation into consideration. He is not unjust.
Leave the situation in the hands of Jehovah and the elders. The more you pursue her, the quicker she will draw away. She sounds as if she is regretting making a commitment, and wishes herself single. It's pretty drastic for her to say she refuses paradise if you are included.
Prepare for the worst, but pray for the best. I wish you peace.
This is very sad. I am very sorry for you and your family. First of all, keep praying. It sounds like you truly love your wife.
It also sounds like your wife got spiritually sick and didn't know it. When a mate is spiritually sick, they view you in a more fleshly way, and have less patience. Usually, no long suffering spirit is being exercised because Jehovah's spirit is being grieved.
A downward spiral into spiritual sickness takes place, and if the spiritual sickness does not get remedied, a person gets to the point where they are left with their wits and their emotions to navigate their way through the strains and pressures of these critical last days. As we all know, that's a recipe for disaster: "do not lean upon your own understanding...Do not become wise in your own eyes. " (PROVERBS3:5b,7)
When you add to all of that, child rearing, which brings emotional vulnerabilities to the surface, immaturity and/or un-readiness to be self sacrificing, and despair due to marital strife, most will loose their footing.
Not to mention that these stressful days tend to bring financial challenges as well.
The only way any marriage can endure all of these pressures (besides the ones not yet acknowledged, like perhaps problems with in-laws, imperfection, poor communication skills, possibly including degrading speech, and the Devil's efforts to destroy families and individual integrity); is to follow the prescription we're given in the Bible to succeed in our relationship with Jehovah. It's the ONLY thing that works. All else fails. (PSALMS 1:1-3)
Iceman, you have admitted that you've both made mistakes. Also that you weren't the best, and didn't treat your wife with respect like you should have. You've learned from your mistakes.
Now the question is, have you made sure to leave no question in your spouse's heart as to your remorse, AND your willingness to take responsibility for your part in the breakdown between the two of you and Jehovah?
This question is being asked because you seem to want to reconcile with your wife and to salvage your marriage. If that's the case, Jehovah will help you to see what you have to work with. This is between you, your wife, and Jehovah.
Of course, as you've revealed, your wife has already taken an unwise course that has complicated matters even more so.
Now it's up to you to take hold and get an unbreakable grip on Jehovah (PROVERBS 4-5:13). That's the only way you're going to be able to act wisely for the sake of your dedication to Jehovah, and your wife, and your children.
Know that Jehovah can sustain you through this in such a way that you will have peace in the end, either way it turns out. TRUST HIM! (PROVERBS 3:1-9).
May I suggest that you ask the brothers to help you know how best to demonstrate unreserved trust in Jehovah. (PROVERBS 2:1-11).
Speaking of trust-try to help your wife to see, or at least remind her of, (because none of us can force anybody to see something they refuse to look at) the folly of trusting one who does not fear Jehovah (PSALMS 146:3). Although logic should tell her that she's raking fiery coals in, she's not reasoning spiritually right now. (PROVERBS 6:27-29) & (PSALMS 146:3-8).
Okay now, you've asked for "help identifying the problem here". Hopefully this has helped some. You will have many prayers going up for you and your family, including mine. Prayerfully it's not too late to turn things around. But just remember; Jehovah is greater than our hearts, and nobody can help a situation like He can!..
"By this we shall know that we originate with the truth, and we shall assure our hearts before himÂ as regards whatever our hearts may condemn us in, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things."--1 JOHN 3:19,20.